Mention Fiats to most people, and they usually get a mental picture of a cute, dinky little car like the Bambina, the Panda and the Uno. “Cute,” “dinky” and “little” are, however, the last words you would ever use to describe the new Fiat Ducato. The Fiat Ducato could just about fit a Bambina inside its cargo bay. This is a vehicle that combines commercial cargo-carrying capacity with Italian comfort and style.
In white, the Fiat Ducato looks like an ambulance without lights and sirens. In red or yellow, it looks like a courier or postal delivery van. And in any colour, the Fiat Ducato makes a great mobile home. The modern “bullet train” nose gives it an overall impression of speed and purpose. And from behind, the doors open to 270 degrees to reveal a mobile workshop.
There are four basic versions of the Fiat Ducato, the 3.0 JTD Extra Long Wheelbase which fits 15 m3 inside, the 2.3 JTD Long Wheelbase which fits 11.5 m3 inside, the 2.3 JTD Medium Wheelbase which fits 8 m3 inside and the 2.3 JTD Medium/Long Wheelbase Chassis Cab which has the sky as it’s limit – however going under bridges may kerb the height of the load!
All versions except the Chassis Cab come as a “blind van” (with side windows as an option) and a removable partition with side rear window. The side door is massive, enabling larger items to be loaded from the safety of the kerb, and the rear doors open superbly wide (if you’re keen, you can calculate whether the Bambina could actually fit into the larger version of the Fiat Ducato). The flat-decked “ute” version of the Fiat Ducato will prove popular for many tradesmen, purely because of the practicality of being able to carry irregular sized loads with ease.
The Extra Long Wheelbase Fiat Ducato comes with the very powerful and efficient 3.0L turbo diesel. The motor is new to the Ducato range and has all the power a big van could wish for. 115kW of power is very acceptable and the 400Nm of torque is simply outstanding. All other variants have the proven 2.3 L turbo diesel workhorse which boasts a very useful 88 kW at 3600 rpm and more importantly a hefty 320 Nm of torque available at a low 2000 rpm. Front wheel drive and six-speed manual gearing is the standard set-up for driving all the models. The Fiat Ducato is a big van that is easy to drive with loads of power, good dynamics and lots of grip. The levels of torque give the Fiat Ducato a rate of acceleration that will be appreciated by couriers with busy schedules.
Visibility inside the spacious and ergonomically designed cabin of the Fiat Ducato (or should that be cockpit?) is excellent, with the tinted windows cutting down glare and heat inside the cabin. The bucket seats in the front are very comfortable, and both seats come with pretensioned seatbelts, airbags and head restraints. A passenger bench seat in the rear is available as a factory-order only option, as are swivelling driver and passenger seats. However, most commercial operators wishing to add the Fiat Ducato to their fleet will prefer to leave the cargo space at the maximum level. The CD/radio system provides a pleasant atmosphere for those who are on the road all day, and the air-conditioning and cruise control also play a part in driver comfort and convenience.
Even the brakes in the Fiat Ducato have been designed for loads: the ABS brakes with EBD have a dual circuit with load sensing capacity. As an option, ESP stability control braking is also available for the Fiat Ducato, giving it that little bit of extra handling ability. The suspension is also designed to minimise load disturbance by evening out rough surfaces.
The Fiat Ducato has some nice features to pamper the driver and will certainly be a comfortable enough cabin to make spending all day in it a pleasant experience.
Current model series include:
For any more information on the Fiat Ducato, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Fiat dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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